During this time of Coronavirus Communication (CoCo), everyone is doing calls on Zoom. The way you look on Zoom matters. Poor lighting and camera placement are the new equivalent of coming into the workplace unshowered and unshaven.
At Media Shower, we’ve been using Zoom for years. Here are a few Zoom best practices for looking your best:
1) Turn on your video. Otherwise, you’re literally phoning it in.
2) Dress it up. Shower, shave, put on a shirt. Get out of the sweatpants. If you’re getting paid to work, then earn your salary.
3) Camera just above eye level. You want the camera looking down, not looking up (avoid the double chin). Put your laptop on a box, or invest $40 in a good laptop stand. Position your camera slightly above eye level, then point it down into your eyes.
4) Lighting. The quick solution: take a tall lamp and put it next to your computer so it illuminates your best side. The better solution: invest $60 in a couple of studio lights. (Worth the investment.)
5) Background. Books or a study look good; a bright window looks bad. If you don’t have a good-looking space to shoot, consider investing $35 in a background stand and draping fabric over it.
6) Look at the camera. This is counterintuitive, but you should minimize Zoom so you’re not looking at the other people on screen. Instead, look directly into your camera’s glassy black eye. It feels weird, but it looks natural to everyone else. (You’ll get used to it.)
7) Consider “Smooth my appearance.” It’s an option in Zoom (under Video Settings) that evens out skin tones, but can also leave you looking a little overprocessed, depending on your lighting. Experiment.
8) BE PRESENT. The most important tip: quit answering your email and listen to other people. “Sorry, I was on mute” is another way of saying, “Sorry, I was actually screwing around and not paying attention.”
5 Business Best Practices During the Coronacrisis:
> Consider remote working not a “temporary change” but the “New Normal.”
> Invest in a mini-studio. You can buy all the equipment above for less than $150.
> Set your keyboard and mouse off to the side, so you’re not tempted to answer email during Zoom calls.
> When you talk, think about it as a “performance.” When you listen, think about it as “focus.”
> Spend 10% of your time helping others.